02:00 GMT31 March 2020
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    Earlier, US Central Command chief Gen. Frank McKenzie said he might recommend increasing the contingent of US troops stationed near Iran's borders in the Middle East, which he said help provide a "stabiliising" factor against Tehran.

    Iranian media has released footage of Iran's new air defence missile system – known as the Khordad 15.

    A Twitter video released by Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), Iran's main broadcaster, shows the air defence system being deployed, with the missiles displayed alongside their launchers, which are covered in desert camouflage, in a hilly desert area. The video then shows the systems deploying to their launch position.

    A second video shows the missiles during a test launch, including a slow-mo demonstration of them being fired at a simulated target.

    Iran's Defence Ministry unveiled the Khordad 15 over the weekend, with the mobile air defence system, equipped with advanced, domestically-developed radar, said to be capable of detecting both aircraft and drones within a range of 150 km, and tracking them at a range of 120 km. According to Iranian Defence Minister Brig. Gen. Amir Hatami, the system can be deployed in less than five minutes, and track six targets simultaneously. The new system has already been delivered to Iran's air defence troops, according to the Tasnim news agency.

    Long-standing tensions between Iran and the United States escalated last month, when Washington scrapped sanctions waivers for over half a dozen major importers of Iranian oil and moved a carrier strike group, strategic bombers and Patriot air defence batteries into the Middle East.

    On Monday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif stressed that Iran would never start a war, but would defeat any country that attacks it. "Whoever starts a war with us will not be the one who finishes it," Zarif warned, speaking to media after a meeting with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas in talks aimed at saving the 2015 nuclear deal.

    The US unilaterally withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action deal in May 2018 and reinstated stringent sanctions against Iran. Last month, on the one year anniversary of the withdrawal, Iran warned that it may withdraw from the deal and resume nuclear enrichment beyond purposes necessary for its peaceful nuclear programme unless its other signatories can find ways to deal with the impact of the stringent US sanctions.


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